West community comes together in time of tragedy

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 5:56 PM

WEST, Texas - With a disaster of this magnitude, the entire community is coming together to help. The local community center is one of several locations designated for victims to get the help they need and all day long, their family and friends in West have been by their side.

Thursday afternoon dozens gathered outside of the community center in prayer.

"We're reminding each other that we still have the important stuff and that's each other," said First Baptist Church Pastor John Crowder.

Crowder and his family are physically OK. They were out of town when the explosion happened.

"By the time we heard about the explosion, we were still about an hour away," Crowder said. "That was the longest hour of my life."

He still hasn't seen his home, which is only a quarter mile from the fertilizer plant, but from what he hears, there's not much left.

"When the blast happened, my front door, the front panel of my house, wound up in my living room, and the ceilings in all the rooms have come down," Crowder explained.

"It, like, picked me up and pushed me back a little," described 18-year-old Heather Perry. "It seriously felt like an earthquake."

Wednesday night Perry was working at a pizza place just two miles from the plant. She and several of her fellow classmates say the hardest part is the unknown.

"Especially not being at school today we really don't know who's hurt," she said through tears.

In a town of no more than 3,000 people, Perry says almost everyone is related somehow, but either way, they're all like family.

Click here for ways you can help the West community.

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